By Sarcasmo Jones
Few states can match what Texas has contributed to the American culture and way of life. We gave the world Janis Joplin, ZZ Top, Pantera, Ann Richards, the Hennessey Venom, the Lingenfelter Corvette, cheese and onion enchiladas, oil, gas, LBJ, the Dallas Cowboys, and a state history book roughly the size and weight of an aircraft carrier. Lately, though, our contributions have been a bit on the absurd side: Ted Cruz, Dubya, and our goofy fucking Governor, Rick Perry, have been working hard to tarnish the Lone Star. A Perry-backed abortion law was just upheld in court, and gives our Governor’s sister a monopoly on the abortion business in Texas. We sent malicious idiots to Washington, like Kenny Marchant and Ted Cruz, who are willing to sacrifice the health and wealth of our nation to repeal the Affordable Care Act at any price. To top it all off, our new “Voter ID” law is the laughing stock of the country.
This particular piece of legislation started off innocuously enough; Republican legislators thought that Texas wasn’t quite red enough (we can’t let Oklahoma win the “who is redder” contest) so they devised a bill that would prevent many minorities, women, students, old folks, and poor folks from voting. You either show up with a valid, approved picture ID that matches your voter registration, or you don’t vote. This way, hopefully, only white males between the ages of 25 and 55, who make more than $40,000 a year, and aren’t Democrats, could cast a vote on election day. They had already redrawn the voting districts last year to maximize their chances at Republican victories, but apparently that wasn’t enough to act out on the urge to disenfranchise folks who might vote against them.
Now that Republicans have that wonderful, monochromatic lack of diversity at the polls, things must be going pretty smoothly for them, right? Nope. Their short-sighted, dipshit law almost prevented a Texas judge, Sandra Watts, from early voting last week because she uses her maiden name on her drivers license. The same thing almost happened to Texas gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis. This one is my favorite: Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, whose full name on his DL is Gregory Wayne Abbott, almost didn’t get to vote because he is listed as Greg Abbott on the voter rolls. Thanks to Wendy Davis, Abbott was able to vote but had to sign an affidavit that he is who he says he is. Davis insisted that an amendment be placed on the nation’s most restrictive voter ID law that would allow voters with significantly similar names, with an affidavit, to vote. Even former Speaker of the House, Jim Wright, was denied a voter ID card last week by Texas DPS.
If this needlessly restrictive law is flagging legislators and judges at the polls, how many married women and folks whose IDs don’t exactly match have been turned away? I’m not a big fan of restrictive legislation, especially from a party that claims that they want government to take a less intrusive role in the lives of Americans, but I am completely against a law that was created under the pretense of fixing a problem that didn’t exist. Republicans have been bullying folks, especially minorities, at the polls for years, and now they want to pull some bullshit like this for no reason. Shame on you, Texas. We used to be better than this.